Shaking the dust off your shoes

When it’s clear that you can’t improve the situation, it’s time to walk.

Readership: All
Theme: Masculine Authority and Responsibility
Author’s Note: This post is based on previous comments from readers.  Links to the original comments can be found in the text.
Length: 1,700 words
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Introduction

It’s too easy to blame everything on Feminism (2022-8-10) observed how various voices in the Manosphere tend to blame “Feminism” as a catharsis, and thereby stop short of examining the deeper cause-and-effect dynamics. As an exemplary case study of this phenomenon, I referred to a post I wrote in response to one from Deep Strength, and how the good men at RPChristians reacted to this. (Click on the link above to read the full account.)

In making this observation, I seem to have overlooked a different cause-and-effect dynamic — the motives for blaming “Feminism” as a catharsis. This post will break this angle further apart.

Reasons for Blaming an Abstract Entity*

* The Abstract Entity specifically referred to in this discussion is Feminism, which is a synechdoche for another abstract entity — sin. But the same dynamics apply for placing blame on nearly any abstract entity.

One way to assess a reactive situation is to recognize that there are (at least) three kinds of blame.

  1. Name it, blame it, and shame it, to motivate others to change their behavior.
  2. Catatonically affixing blame as a catharsis, but with no follow up action, which is akin to a complaint.
  3. Affixing blame as a judgment on an identified cause, and then taking action to address the cause.

The observable difference between 2 and 3 is whether an action is identified as a potential remedy and acted upon.

There are several reasons why an action is not taken. Aside from subjective reasons like apathy, aversion, bitterness, cowardice, contempt, false faith, lack of confidence, laziness, solipsism, etc., these reasons include…

  1. The causes are diffuse, legion, and/or profound, and therefore a clearly remediating course of action cannot be readily identified.
  2. The causes are evident, yet there is still no perceived action that can be taken.
  3. Taking action requires a concerted effort by the larger group, in which case the action requires a director, leader, or pastor.
  4. The responsibility for taking action rests on others, i.e. the leaders, and these individuals are unwilling to take any effective action for whatever reason. (This is another area of motives that could be investigated.)
  5. Realizing that it’s not the right time to take action. Other things need to transpire first, which involves waiting patiently, watching vigilantly, praying diligently, and preparing one’s self to take action when the right time comes. Discernment and faith are needed to know when this is the case.

Any of these reasons (except 5) may explain why people fall back on complaining and doing nothing. However, this blog is a virtual think tank for coming up with actions and strategies, so I won’t be satisfied with stopping there.

In dealing with a difficult situation, the third approach is obviously the best — Affixing blame as a judgment on an identified cause, and then taking action to address the cause. But if we don’t have anything actionable that we can actually do to fix our churches, marriages, etc., and the pastors and leaders fail to respond (point 4), then it logically reduces to the second response — Catatonically affixing blame as a catharsis, but no follow up action — simply because there is no follow up action to address the cause.

Trying to beat a dead horse will only lead to frustration.

The Right Approach Depends on the Context

Within marriage, the husband needs to make progress in establishing his domain, and in building a Biblical marriage by maintaining his Headship over his family and his sexual authority over his wife. This has been a focused subject of the Christian Manosphere for at least the past 3-4 years.

Within the church, however, a concerted effort is needed among the congregants. To do this, the pastor(s) and church elders are the key players for spearheading a “movement” or a “revival”.

Many readers have pointed out the dire need for proactive and responsive Christian leaders, however, several readers spoke of the futility of asking or expecting leaders and pastors to take action.

Derek posed the question,

“We do [need good leaders], yes, but if that isn’t possible, what will we do instead?”

“…what do we do about the men who cannot be — or are not called to be — church leaders? Or perhaps more to the point, how do you build good Christian leaders in an environment designed to suppress them?”

The answer is that every Christian man is called to be (1) a leader of himself, (2) a leader of others, if so called by God and/or the necessity of the situation, and (3) a leader of his own family (if he has one). This requires a man to trust in God, as he is essentially swimming upstream alone.

In dealing with Feminism and the corruption of sin within the church and/or marriage, there are three general leadership stances that a man can take, depending on the context. I’ll call these stances (1) establishing a domain of leadership authority, and (2) playing the missionary, and (3) shaking the dust off your shoes. Descriptions follow.

1. Establishing a Domain of Leadership Authority

This leadership can be expressed in a variety of ways.

  • Identify and establish your domain of leadership. Gather a suitable group of like-minded men under your wing, and guide and mentor them. Find trusted friends who are willing to cooperate and augment your leadership. Find a regular meeting place and get hands-on help to organize your group.
  • Spearheading a gathering of men that is led by another man of greater capability and repute, and encouraging these men to follow his lead.
  • Married men might make themselves less dependent on external leadership (e.g. Church services, Pastors, sunday school, etc.) and provide the necessary instruction, leadership, and teaching to his family by himself.

If a sizeable number of men can stand up to church leaders in unison, then those leaders will be more willing to listen. If church leaders still won’t listen, then you’ve still got a band of brothers.

2. Playing the Missionary

Playing the Missionary involves targeting specific individuals to be won over to the truth behind one’s cause. In this stratagem, the first and most important step is to discern the spiritual disposition of the targeted individuals.

The actions are bifurcated depending on the spiritual state of those targeted.

The Biblical directives, which include both tactical and strategic approaches for dealing with an erring brother to remove the cause of sin (as described in Matthew 18:15-35), can only bring a positive outcome if those sinning are already of a repentant nature.

For the readily repentant Christian, using these tactical and strategic actions (i.e. Matthew 18:15-35) is indeed the best approach. Here, the repentant Christian should be gently corrected, and if this fails to wake him up to the truth, we are to take a couple brothers to confront him.

But when these measures fail, we must conclude that the target is among the unbelievers and so we must treat the problem as a secular one, to which the solution is indirect: the Great Commission. For the non-Christian and the hardened non-repentant Christian, the next step is to foster their repentance as one of the lost.

3. Shaking the Dust off Your Shoes

Men who continually gripe and do nothing may have a credible viewpoint if their churches are totally subsumed by Feminism and they have given up on it and have moved on, even if only in their minds. I believe this would account for a high percentage of men who are leaving the church.

Men who find themselves taking this approach would do well to observe the following directions given to missionaries.

13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it.  But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

Matthew 10:13-15 (NKJV)

Also, pray for more discernment, adopt a more mystical approach, and seek the consolation and leading of the Holy Spirit to guide you through this difficult period of transition.

Leaving the established group and looking elsewhere for fellowship doesn’t need to happen in bad blood, but when the crux of the division is about Feminism, sin, or heresy, then it may be necessary to publicly raise a fuss on your way out the door. In fact, in some cases it may be better to do so, as this will call attention to your cause and serve as a judgment on the unrepentant which God can use to convict and teach others if the Holy Spirit is willing.

For men leaving the church under these conditions, shaking the dust off your shoes (figuratively and perhaps literally as well) is one formality that must not be neglected. I believe that if men take the effort to do so, they will be able to claim a renewed power of conviction and faith.

Conclusions

Is the solution for you and I (who do not run our churches) to go to the pastor, ask him (or the other men and women like him) to repent and call the unrepentant to task, and then leave the church when it doesn’t happen? Because that’s likely where most in the sphere have ended up: either sticking around in disobedient fake or anti-churches or no longer attending those same churches.

Or put another way, are we trying to take back our churches or are we just admitting that they are lost, cutting our losses, and moving on?

I suspect that for the issues concerning men that are often discussed here, the vast majority of targets will fall into the second category, thus making our actions (here) of limited worth on the wider scale.

This isn’t to say that you should not work to fight against the structures of sin’s existence (e.g. working to ban abortion; resisting demands to close churches), but that such actions will not and cannot solve the core problem, which resides within the heart of man.

No matter which of the above three approaches a man might take, all of them require definitive action.

Note to the affected men at reddit/RPChristians: Go to the steps of the church that has rejected you. Take your shoes off and pound the soles on the steps. Let this definitive action become your catharsis. Then you will find a freshly renewed life in the Spirit and a more robust vitality for living.

Related

About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Agency, Attitude, Authenticity, Boundaries, Calculated Risk Taking, Charisma, Churchianity, Collective Strength, Communications, Confidence, Conflict Management, Convergence, Decision Making, Discerning Lies and Deception, Discernment, Wisdom, Faith Community, Feminism, Fundamental Frame, God's Concept of Justice, Handling Rejection, Headship and Patriarchy, Holding Frame, Inner Game, Introspection, Leadership, Male Power, Manosphere, Moral Agency, Mysticism, Organization and Structure, Personal Domain, Personal Presentation, Persuasion, Power, Psychology, Purpose, Respect, Self-Concept, Sphere of Influence, Strategy, Teaching, The Power of God, Trust. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Shaking the dust off your shoes

  1. Derek Ramsey says:

    “No matter which of the above three approaches a man might take, all of them require definitive action.”

    Yes, this is the sum of it. They are not, perhaps, the action you prefer to take, but you still have something you can (and should) do.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lexet Blog says:

    This is sort of a point I have made over the years. You are not called to stay and slowly change things from within. You are called to direct action. Speak up, confront. Rebuke if necessary. If repentance isn’t the response, you are to leave.

    Whether you are searching for the “men of peace” in a town, or dealing with error in the local body, the answer is the same. You are not called to do nothing and stay (which is what people do when they say “they’ll change it by example”- that’s an excuse). Nor are you called to subvert the institution from within.

    Liked by 5 people

    • cshort says:

      And when all the local institutions are in such a state? Where does one find fellowship, even if it is problematic, when every local church doesn’t see anything wrong and reacts negatively and dismissively anytime something is pointed out.

      And I don’t believe I qualify to start a new congregation as I’m still struggling to achieve the requirements set out by Paul for such leadership.

      Liked by 2 people

      • catacombresident says:

        I will agree it’s a very lonely place to be when no church you can find will take the right path. I’ve done home church for some 15 years now. It takes faith and dedication when you can’t find anyone willing to join you. All of my “parish” is online right now, but my wife and I still share and worship every Sunday.

        Liked by 2 people

      • thedeti says:

        “I’ve done home church for some 15 years now. It takes faith and dedication when you can’t find anyone willing to join you. All of my “parish” is online right now, but my wife and I still share and worship every Sunday.”

        I’m about ready to head in this direction. There is nothing here in terms of a church body. Nothing. Nowhere.

        Like

      • Lexet Blog says:

        Why would you fellowship with people in deliberate disobedience?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lexet Blog says:

        Christ literally says he will spit these lukewarm people out. They are not the body.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ramman3000 says:

        @ Lexet

        “Why would you fellowship with people in deliberate disobedience?”

        Why did Jesus hang out with sinners? More to the point, even anti-churches will read usually the Word of God and not every person in those churches is lost. Moreover, if they offer communion and you can get it nowhere else, at least it means something to you. I’ve found spiritual growth in churches I had to eventually leave.

        “Christ literally says he will spit these lukewarm people out. They are not the body.”

        A Christian is someone who confesses that Jesus died and was resurrected, that they are a sinner who repents, and believes in Jesus and makes him their master. It isn’t someone who doesn’t sin or believes some wrong things, for that would invalidate all of us. Christ knows the heart of each man, but we do not. We have its fruit, which can be mixed.

        Whether to stay or go in a church is a decision each man needs to make for himself and his family. It isn’t so cut and dry that there is no room for discretion. Some are called by the Spirit to stay, some are called to go.

        “whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.”

        The bonds of hospitality must be respected. If you and your words are not well-received, you are to shake off the dust from your feet when you depart. The command is not to leave immediately upon rejection. The command is to shake the dust off your feet once you’ve determined that it is a lost cause. Do not burn the bridges in your haste to depart.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. info says:

    It goes to show that this movement from the 1800’s have been permitted by God to succeed to expose the rot that is happening in the purported Church. The so called Church largely failed. Therefore may God destroy all that is false and preserve his real Church.

    Everything that smacks of inversion. Like rightful Patriarchal Authority and it’s exercise seen as abuse. And rebellion by wives seen as Righteous. Is inherently Satanic. (Isaiah 5:20)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Pray Our Way Out | okrahead

  5. okrahead says:

    It seems I will soon be in a position where the church I attend will be seeking to appoint new elders. After careful consideration, I think I am going to do something I have never done before. I am going to submit a list of questions to the men being considered, and as I will be in a position to do so, base my support or lack thereof on the answers each man gives.

    Specific questions:
    1) Is abortion a sin, and should the church actively and openly oppose it?
    2) Should the church discontinue its meetings if the members sense it may be dangerous to meet, e.g. Covid 19 panic of 20.
    3) Does any human civil authority have the authority to forbid the church to meet, to sing hymns, or to partake holy communion?

    I think this may be an interesting session.
    1 Must be yes and yes.
    2 Must be no, but if some of these men say “no” then they’ve got some explaining to do.
    3 Same as 2, above.

    Liked by 6 people

    • surfdumb says:

      Okrahead, did you consider adding to #1 something like this, “If yes, then who is sinning?”

      Watch them squirm! They’ll be glad to to say the doctor. Or if they say the woman, they’ll make so many excuses for her that their “yes, her” is rendered meaningless.

      To #2, “Do you consider likely, or unlikely, that the health authorities used covid for control?”

      Liked by 5 people

    • Joe2 says:

      I like your questions. FWIW, I think it’s valuable to learn of the reasons which support each response. Even a correct response needs an explanation because the underlying reasons for the correct response could be wrong – right answer but for the wrong reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. thedeti says:

    Incidentally: I guess we’re done talking about da wimminz now.

    Like

    • Jack says:

      deti,

      “Incidentally: I guess we’re done talking about da wimminz now.”

      Not really. In this post, I focused on the situation in churches, but something similar is happening with men regarding women and marriage too. I mentioned this in passing, but I didn’t address it specifically in the OP. The MGTOW movement is essentially men taking the third approach described above — walking away. Similarly, single men are waking up to their need to tighten their belts with respect to women, and married men are realizing that they need to put their foot down in their marriages. These are described by approaches 1 and/or maybe 2 above, depending on the situation.

      Like

      • redpillboomer says:

        “…married men are realizing that they need to put their foot down in their marriages.”

        It might begin here, but once the foot has been put down, if that’s what’s needed, we married men need next to really get what headship means; not just conceptually, but what it looks like and feels like walking around out there in the world interacting with everyday folks. I’ve been thinking about this lately, and I’ve concluded we have some work to do in this area as RP men; even us married RP men who supposedly “have our marital act together,” e.g. the wife is for the most part submissive to us. Our Eve’s lean more toward the submissive side of the spectrum rather than the contentious side of it.

        From the cartoonish Manosphere meme’s such as, “Make me a sandwich, B!” to all our Christian Red Pill musings about headship, it still remains a bit elusive to me, the totality of what me bringing headship looks like. Notice I said a bit elusive, not totally elusive (I’m getting it more and more as time goes by) because I keep discovering areas I still need to evolve or grow in to be an even better “head of the household.” It’s a work in progress and it’s not “the little woman’s” job either; it’s a me and Christ thing. Sanctification anyone?

        The really cool thing about it, this RP realm, aka Biblical manhood; the closer we get to it, the more it effects everything around us. I’m still amazed at the impact it has, many times subtly, on those around me. Not talking the wife or family members here, but people outside the family. Sometimes (and I say this a bit tongue in cheek here), it seems like a “RP aura” envelopes me and people sense it, especially women. And even though I’m pretty good looking and in decent shape for a guy my age, it’s something more than that. I catch women at the gym, for example, sensing it from me. They seem to notice it. I’m not implying they “want me” or anything like that, but that masculine, RP aura thing, they pick up on it; and the idea I get is that they LIKE it. It gets their attention. So it’s not just Chad and Tyrone that gets their attention, it’s also our RP aura, at any age we happen to be.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Red Pill Apostle says:

        Jack and thedeti,

        It is an impossible task to separate the many of the issues of modern women, modern men, and the modern church universal. We generally have women that express more masculine traits than they should, men who express more feminine traits than they should, and the church being governed by these overly feminized men.

        The consequences of this play out in various ways. Pastors will pull punches when discussing sins women are more prone to, and you get weak elders. A church I went to years ago now has a female campus pastor, as in, she is the lead pastor for the campus that has hundreds of congregants. Her husband is an elder. The head pastor has spoken numerous times how we should avoid situations or actions that tip toe us up to the line of sin because the risk isn’t worth it, but yet they have a female campus pastor. Feminized men that are unwilling to hold standards give us the churches we see today. It makes sense when we remember that families are the building blocks of society and that includes churches.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oscar says:

    “Is the solution for you and I (who do not run our churches) to go to the pastor, ask him (or the other men and women like him) to repent and call the unrepentant to task, and then leave the church when it doesn’t happen?”

    That’s pretty much what I did at one church, except it was more like I was politely invited to find a different church.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe2 says:

      That was my experience too, Oscar. The pastor came with a henchman who kept interrupting him to remind me that the pastor is the “man of God” in a rather loud authoritarian voice. And the pastor kept looking at his watch. I got the message — the pastor is beyond reproach, has more important things to do, and I’m a nobody who shouldn’t be wasting his time. It all ended with a short prayer and I couldn’t wait to leave the meeting and leave the church.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oscar says:

        There was no henchman in my experience. It was more genteel than that, but the message was pretty clear. And, you know what? The pastor was right. He wasn’t willing to obey 1 Cor 5, and I wasn’t willing to keep tolerating the unrepentant lesbian couple (one was the pastor’s sister-in-law).

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Be like Jesus:

    Cast a wide net in your ministry, but focus most of your time on the people who want to learn and grow (His 70 sent out disciples / 12 disciples / 3 close disciples).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Jacob’s Masculinity | Σ Frame

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